Week With Ricky– Part One

Fort Wetherhill RI
Scenic fort Jamestown. Very near URI where I will be studying Ocean Engineering next year.

This experience consisted of working with Rick Simons of Manta Industries/High Seas Millwork for a week. Ricky owns and operates a dive equipment manufacturing company, making reels, backplates, harnesses, etc. He is also a highly qualified instructor, ranging from open water to advanced rebreathers. Ricky was also the Sea Rover’s intern a few years ago, you can find his blog here! I worked in the Manta Industries/High Sea Millworks Shop learning how to assemble back plates and harnesses and reels. I was also working to complete an intro to tech certification as well this week. I’ll put this experience in multiple parts because we did so much.

So the first day, Sunday, I met Ricky in Jamestown, Rhode Island to dive with one of his open water classes through the shop Divers Cove. I love Jamestown; I dove there a number of years ago and loved it. The weather was perfect when I pulled in, blue skies, light wind, and calm seas.



The road leading to the pond was under construction, I bent my rim on a pothole, leading to a fiasco the next morning.
The road leading to the pond was under construction, I bent my rim on a pothole, leading to a fiasco the next morning.

Unfortunately, once we all got suited up and in the water,  we realized visibility was about a foot! That doesn’t really work with open water students so we got out, packed up, and went over to a local pond. This would be my second drysuit dive, and my first dive with Ricky. When I got in the water I felt a little bit timid because this was my first time with everyone. Rick paired me up with a private student going for her adventure diver cert. We originally planned to follow Ricky and his open water students, but had to return to get more weight for her, so we changed the plan to go out and follow a heading towards their flag, then just turn around at 2000psi. Well like I said I was a little bit timid, so I did not exactly assert myself when we took the wrong reciprocal heading to return… so basically we surfaced way away from the beach and had a nice alongshore swim back where she managed to get tangled in several fishermen’s monofilament. Fun! The following dives were less eventful and I basically just used them to get more comfortable with the drysuit and realize how poorly I set up all my new equipment (not streamlined or clipped off). Once the dives were over for the day we had a great barbeque, talked and hung out for awhile. After that I headed back to mass for the night, the road back from the pond was under construction so I hit a large pothole bent my rim, which made the next morning interesting!